How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

March 4, 2008

I think most people would be shocked when they add up the expenses and the time involved in dog ownership. I find myself actively discouraging people from adopting dogs without first getting a real sense of how much time and money is involved.

Potential owners who underestimate the cost and time inevitably wind up with under-exercised, under-trained dogs who, naturally enough, exhibit behavioral problems (excessive barking, destructive chewing, inappropriate elimination habits) and then wind up abandoned or in shelters.

A recent posting on the Fosters & Smith Pet Education site details the expenses involved over the life of a 50 pound dog over 14 years in the Midwest. The low number? $4,242.00. The middle number, which I consider to be closest to the true average cost? $12,468.00. The high end number? $38,905.00.

Surprised? Then you should read the entire article, here.

These totals are pretty shocking aren’t they? And remember, this is the cost for a 50-pound dog that lives in the Midwest. It is not uncommon to see some of these numbers double or triple in places like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Dallas. Now granted most people do not end up spending $40,000 on their dog, but some spend a whole lot more. A dog with hip dysplasia or severe allergies can have significantly higher veterinary expenses and I routinely see people who spend over $2,000 on a single veterinary problem. Chances are your costs will be similar to those I incur, but even with the minimum required care, it is still over $13,000.00.


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